What do you do with your expired or leftover pharmaceuticals? Do you throw them away? Flush them down the drain or toilet? The answer is neither. Monterey County offers a safe and easy alternative for medicine disposal with 16 Pharmaceutical Take-Back Sites. These Take-Back locations accept a variety of items including:
● Prescription drugs
● Over the-counter drugs
● Pet medications
● Medicated ointments
● Controlled substances are accepted at specified locations
● Sharps (i.e. needles) are accepted at specified locations
It is critical to the health of our watershed and our community to safely dispose of these medicines. When pharmaceuticals are flushed down the drain, those chemicals enter the watershed and can be harmful for wildlife. While waste treatment systems are equipped to remove a vast majority of chemicals and make the water safe for human consumption, the remaining chemicals can enter the water and bioaccumulate in living species. When pharmaceuticals are thrown away with the rest of the trash, they could eventually impact groundwater as lined landfills age. Pharmaceuticals can cause harmful effects in fish, deer, birds and other animals that rely on the watershed.
When it comes time to dispose of your pharmaceuticals, please consider taking them to a certified Take-Back Location. These take-back locations help the community safely dispose of expired or unused medications at no cost to those bringing in the items. You can help protect our watershed! Here is a list of the certified Pharmaceutical Take-Back Locations in Monterey County. CRWC is responsible for setting up three of the locations (Carmel-by-the-Sea and Pacific Grove police departments and the Pebble Beach Community Services District fire station). Please check out this link for more information, as well as the take-back locations listed in Spanish.